"Buda" (TX) origin mystery (Spanish? Hungarian? Something else?)

Barry Popik bapopik at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 17 06:42:09 UTC 2007

Frank Abate asks me about the origin of the placename "Buda" (TX),
near where I rented for a year. I regret to say that I have not solved
the mystery and need some help.
Is there some way to check U.S. Post Office name change applications?
The town in 1881 was named Dupre (TX). In 1887, the post office name
was officially changed to Buda. Would some post office logic be
written down in an official journal somewhere about this application?
The "Buda" Wikipedia page is pretty good, and someone has obviously
looked into the naming issue. But not far enough. The problem is that
some critical issues of the Hays County Times &  Farmer's Journal are
missing. The other problem is that NewspaperArchive unexpectedly took
the Austin (TX) Statesman off its content, in a dispute with the
paper. I wrote to the Austin American-Statesman about its archives
TWICE, and of course, no one goddamn cares to respond to me. A
subscriber, local scholar working for free--not even a simple
It was called "Buda" as early as June 8, 1886 (Galveston News).
However, in print ads for the Dupre Hotel/Carrington Hotel/Buda Hotel
in the Hays County newspaper (July 3, 1886), the town was advertised
as "Budah." Postmaster Leonidas D. Carrington requested the name
change (granted in 1887).
I think the widow (Spanish "viuda") "Buda" theory is extremely
unlikely. There's absolutely no documentation for it. Plus, who would
name a town "widow"? Plus, the Carringtons were not Mexican/Spanish,
nor did I see Mexican/Spanish names among the town's residents.
"Buda" (for "Buda-Pesht" or Budapest) is likely (see Buda, IL), but
there is no direct evidence of Hungarian influence in the town that I
could see.
The mystery remains, at least until I have access to the Austin
Statesman digitized archives again. I though "Budah" was a fine clue
and nice discovery, but it hasn't led anywhere.
Barry Popik
Austin, TX
By the time Du Pre was forced to find a new name for itself, the
Carrington hotel was already being referenced as "the Buda House." In
the "Dupre Notes" weekly column of the Sept. 25, 1886 edition of the
Hays County Times and Farmer's Journal, the author notes that "The
Buda House is one of the best hotels in the state. The polite and
entertaining hostess, Mrs. Carrington, meets all with a courteous
welcome." According to the town's oral tradition, the name of Buda is
a corruption of the Spanish word "viuda," or "widow," referencing the
widows who supposedly worked as cooks at the Carrington Hotel. Others
suggest that, like the town of Buda, Illinois, the name is a nod to
the exiles of the failed Hungarian revolution who settled in the area.
1853 - 1930
ONION CREEK (Travis, Hays)
Cg'd to DUPREE, and into Hays County, 21 Mar 1881
DUPREE (Hays) (see also ONION CREEK)
Chandler, Jas. A., 21 Mar 1881
Carrington, Leonidas D., 8 Sep 1884
Schmidt, Julius H., 18 Feb 1886
Carrington, Leonidas D., 17 Mar 1886
Cg'd to BUDA, 25 Aug 1887
BUDA (Hays) (see also DUPREE)
Carrington, Leonidas D., 25 Aug 1887
Trigg, Mary A., 23 Nov 1889
Harrison, Nannie H., 2 Jan 1894
McElroy, Thos. E., 12 Jan 1898
McElroy, Mrs. Ada L., 1 Jun 1898
McElroy, Will A., 10? Mar 1904
Hessler, Benj. A., 11 May 1907
McElroy, Will A., 3 Jun 1910
Puckett, W. W., 19 Feb 1915
Wilson Jr., David M., 15 Jun 1916
Puckett, W. W., 26 Aug 1916
Wayland, G. Carroll W., 18 Nov 1921
Cox, Mrs. Leo Wayland, 20 Feb 1922 (Acting postmaster)
8 June 1886, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 5, col. 6:
Exclusive Offices of Pacific Express Company in Texas.
3 July 1886, Hays County Times and Farmers' Journal (San Marcos, TX),
pg. 2, col. 5 ad:
_Dupre Hotel._
BUDAH (on I. & G. N. R. R.) Texas [International-Great Northern Rail
Road -- ed.]
This is the best house in Hays county.
Elegant table, comfortable bed rooms, attentive
waiters, and
_Prices Very Moderate_
Rare and pleasant resort for visitors.
The cars stop at this hotel to allow passengers
ample time for breakfast, etc.
MRS. CARRINGTON, proprietress.
9 July 1887, Hays County Times and Farmers' Journal (San Marcos, TX),
pg. 2, col. 6:
An influential petition, requesting the Post-office department to
change the name of our beautiful city from Dupre to Buda, has been
forwarded to Washington by post master Capt. L. D. Carrington; and we
trust the prayer of the petition will be granted, as much confusion is
frequently caused under the present state of matters.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list